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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
CheckMate Artisanal Winery Knight's Challenge Chardonnaytext
90POINTS
16½/20

CheckMate Artisanal Winery Knight's Challenge Chardonnay 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe newest addition to the Checkmate chardonnay clan is Knight's Challenge from Sunset Vineyard vines. Sunset is situated to the south of the Barn Vineyard and was planted to 23 three-year-old vines using Dijon chardonnay clones 76 and 95. According to winemaker Phil McGahan, "clone 76 brings structure and organization to the mix while clone 95 brings richness." The two micro-blocks also offer a complexity based on their physical declination. The lower block sits in a gully and ripens much later than the higher block, although both reside on the very porous soils of the Black Sage Bench that gives the wine its distinctive fruit character. The wine is 100% wild ferment, and it is all aged in French oak that is 45 percent new. It spends 17 months in oak. It is a more classic New World chardonnay with complex, powerful fruit, buttery notes and well-integrated, stylish oak. Cutting through all that is a mineral, savoury Okanagan undercurrent. A bit old-style if you like, but with a much subtler touch. Only eight barrels were made.Tasted: 30 March 2017Tasted by: Anthony GismondiPrices: BC 85.00 winery club members Producer: CheckMate Artisanal WineryDistributors: Mark Anthony Wines and Spirits
Grape: ChardonnayUPC: 776545800718